American Society of Plastic Surgeons
For Medical Professionals
 

Skin Cancer Removal

Reconstruction After Skin Cancer

Surgically removing cancerous and other skin lesions using specialized techniques to preserve your health and your appearance.

What should I expect during my recovery after skin cancer removal?

During your skin cancer removal surgery recovery, incision sites may be sore, red or drain small amounts of fluid.

  • It is important to follow all wound care instructions such as cleansing and applying topical medications exactly as directed
  • You will be able to return to light activity as instructed by your surgeon
  • Make certain to keep your incision sites clean and well protected from potential injury
  • Try to limit movement that may stress your wound and your sutures

Be sure to ask your plastic surgeon specific questions about what you can expect during your individual recovery period.

  • What medication will I be given or prescribed after surgery?
  • Will I have dressings/bandages after surgery?
  • When will they be removed?
  • Are stitches removed? When?
  • When can I resume normal activity and exercise?
  • When do I return for follow-up care?
  • How long will it take before healing is complete?

Healing will continue for many weeks or months as incision lines continue to improve.

It may take a year or more following a given procedure for incision lines to refine and fade to some degree. In some cases, secondary procedures may be required to complete or refine your reconstruction.

Sun exposure to healing wounds may result in irregular pigmentation and scars that can become raised, red or dark. Sun exposure may increase the risk of the development of skin cancer in another region of your body.



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